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Communications experts in the United Kingdom's Iraq War forces have paved the way for that country's force transformation. The information networks that they established to serve British forces during the war both exploited a host of new solutions and exposed a range of challenges. Many of the lessons learned in that conflict are being applied to develop a new network-centric British military.
A new Internet and 5G dominance aim to boost government strength.
A long-established military event that originated as an examination of interoperability has evolved into a forum for perfecting the art and science of information sharing. Featuring
New data storage and retrieval techniques are allowing theater air mission planners to call up detailed imagery and mapping data from a laptop computer. Using commercial hardware and software, U.S. forces directed attack and rescue missions during the recent Kosovo conflict by accessing continentwide data contained in a single box.
Ready or not, the year 2000 soon will dawn over remote islands astride the international date line in the far Pacific, and what has been called the "first scheduled, non-negotiable, global disaster" will unfold, revealing which of many wildly differing year 2000 scenarios will play out. While no one can foretell which, if any, are accurate, woe to any who have failed the "due diligence test."
Small and lightweight loitering cruise missiles with pinpoint precision are playing a deadly battlefield hide and seek in all weather conditions against hard-to-find mobile enemies. Armed with highly lethal warheads, a family of new weapons is emerging from development for both U.S. Army and Air Force applications. Moreover, these weapons hold the potential to significantly alter warfare.
The new network-centric U.S. Navy, flush with advanced information technologies, can expect greater challenges as it is tasked with more diverse and widespread operations well into the 21st century. Both the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps will be dealing with major operational issues involving a longer military reach amid greater geopolitical tension and more complex coalition operations. And, both services will be relying on as yet unfielded technologies to fulfill their missions.
The tragic events of September 11 provide ghastly substance to the metaphor of asymmetric warfare. And, they add credence to prescient but nebulous warnings of threats to homeland security and concomitant vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures.
The U.S. Army sector of U.S. Northern Command is contributing to homeland security and defense by bringing communications where and when it is needed most. To enhance its ability to keep leaders and first responders connected, U.S. Army North recently opened a new network operations center at its home base in San Antonio. The center provides situational awareness of the plethora of connectivity equipment the organization literally sends out into the field during both natural and manmade crises.
U.S. government agencies recognize the effect that Web 2.0 technologies are having on society, and some are eagerly incorporating them into their operations. However, unlike previous eras in which government embraced new capabilities routinely, today’s efforts go beyond merely adapting to innovative technologies. The Web 2.0 revolution is impelling cultural change faster and to a greater degree than ever experienced in recorded history, and democracies that answer to their populaces already are feeling the effects of that change—and ignore those effects at their own risk.